Welcome to CAMRA West Kent

This website is for CAMRA members that have an interest in the West Kent Branch. The branch area includes the towns of Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Westerham.

The easiest way to help CAMRA West Kent?

The number 1, easiest, but most important thing that CAMRA members can do to help any branch is to enter pub and beer scores via WhatPub. If you enter scores for pubs that you try they will get fed back to the relevant branch, and will be used for deciding which pubs go in the Good Beer Guide. The menu on the left contains a guide to Beer Scoring, or follow the WhatPub link above to go direct.  

SVR Beer Festival Volunteering I know it’s a while off at the moment but we’re looking for volunteers to fill the following roles at the festival
  • Membership Manager – moving around the festival sites offering folk the chance to join CAMRA
  • Festival Auditor – somebody numerate able to sign off simple accounts on behalf of the branch

Aside from these two posts, if you’re thinking of volunteering (again?) for regular bar work, etc. this year, it would also be helpful if you could let me know your likely availability as soon as possible

Branch Volunteering We’d also like to recruit a branch ACV Officer to spearhead applications for Asset of Community Value status to threatened pubs in the branch and support local community groups in applying for ACVs. Brewery Liaison Officers are also required for Pig & Porter Brewery (I think) and for Alpha States Brewery. In fact we really need more active, campaigning members on the branch committee to spread the workload generally. We’re all volunteers as you know, so if you want to be more involved let us know or come to our branch meetings and get involved.

 6th SPA Valley Railway Beer & Cider Festival


This years festival was a great success, thanks to everybody that volunteered, and all those that visited. Extra info http://www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/product.php/19/6th-camra-real-ale-cider-festival-and-autumn-diesel-gala  

A message from Keith Ennis and the branch to our volunteers.

Dear Spa Valley Railway Beer and Cider Festival Volunteer I think we have all had time to catch our breath and reflect upon last weekends successful Festival. Firstly, I would like to thank all of you for the hard work you put in to serve an estimated 11,000 pints of beer and cider.  As staffing officer, I must thank all of you for your willingness to do whatever was asked of you, or for just seeing jobs that needed doing, and getting on with them.  All of this made my job a lot easier. The result of the Beer of the Festival Competition, voted for by the public was as follows:
  • Gold               Kew Brewery – Nightshade
  • Joint Silver    Downlands Brewery – Red October
  • Joint Silver    By the Horns Brewery – Old Smoke Tea Bitter
We hope to arrange a visit Kew Brewery to present the award. There were not enough votes for cider to have a meaningful result. In the Green Hop Competition, held prior to the Festival opening, the results were:
  • Gold           Old Dairy Brewery – Bullion Single Hop
  • Silver          Goody Ales – Green Hop Genesis
  • Bronze        Westerham Brewery – Scotney Green Hop
  On 8 November the organising committee are meeting to review the Festival.  If you have any comments or suggestions on how the Festival is run, positive or negative, I would welcome them to feed into the meeting.  Please let me have your views in the coming week. Finally, we hope to be running the Festival next year and that you will be able to come back and help us again.  We are always looking for capable people to join the committee to help organise the Festival.  If you feel you can help us, please let me know. Wassail Keith Ennis Spa Valley Beer and Cider Festival Staffing Officer West Kent CAMRA Cider Officer


'The West Kent CAMRA Pub Of The Year' has been awarded to Fuggles Beer Cafe in one of the closest competitions seen in recent years. All the pubs included in this competition achieve a level of excellence to be commended, with the top 3 chopping & changing right up to the last scores being computed and as such was impossible to predict. Fuggles, as a new branch winner came top in 3 out of the 5 categories and is I consider, a worthy winner, having been highly placed previously, including runner up last year, since opening in November 2013. Alex Greig has with Fuggles Beer Cafe, helped to transform the "Beer Scene" in our branch area, particularly in Tunbridge Wells, serving quality cask beer and other craft ales, extended the range of products available to the public, whilst encouraging competition by setting new standards for the industry in respect of customer service and staff knowledge and thoroughly deserves the recognition this award will bring.

Top Six Pubs - West Kent CAMRA Awards

  • 1. Fuggles, Tunbridge Wells
  • 2. Windmill, Weald
  • 3. Halfway House, Brenchley
  • 4. Dovecote, Capel
  • 5. Queens Arms, Cowden Pound
  • 6. Crown, Groombridge

Most Improved pub: Toad Rock Retreat, Rusthall

Runner up - Matt & Emma at The Windmill might be disappointed as runner up having won the award for the last three years, they shouldn't be, they've set new standards from the beginning and their Runner Up Award in a close competition confirms their ability to maintain them. Halfway House, Brenchley - Sam, recently taken over from father Richard is clearly building on his dad's previous success, continuing the quality beers and foods available whilst improving the Summer Beer festivals held & the music provided. Toad Rock Retreat, Rusthall - Nick & Shelley fully deserve their 'most improved' pub having worked tirelessly to turn this pub around.

Cider Pub Of the year: The Pantiles Tap

Geoff & Jo retain their crown for Cider Pub of the year for 'The Pantiles Tap' with one of the best selections of quality cider in the south, never mind the region!

Club of the year: Tunbridge Wells Constitutional Club, Tunbridge Wells

The Constitutional Club with its excellent range of beers and excellent food offering deserve this accolade. Craig Beeson, Chairman, West Kent CAMRA Alex Greig at Fuggles was “over the moon” as you can read on his website here: http://www.fugglesbeercafe.co.uk/news/ And to the branch he added these comments: I just wanted to point out a few things that may have got glossed over or not noted in the areas we didn’t do so well in (community and CAMRA objectives). - Full support and time for the SVR beer festival including helping organise as well as working the entire event and helping to set up. - Help and advice to members of CAMRA where asked, including cellar tours and general advice/opinion when asked. - Regular beer focussed events etc. (as you mentioned) - We actually sponsor 2 local football teams at the moment, Langton Green FC Under 10’s and Speldhurst Rangers FC. - Regular feature at local community events in town helping to support and raise money for the events, including MELA (a multicultural music event), Local & Live, The Ice Rink, The Round Table Fireworks display and a few other bits dotted about. ……. a lot of this is to do with Rural pubs and community, but a big town can have community and I’d say the events we’re involved with are just on a bigger scale, much like a village:town ratio would be! Same difference, just bigger!  

CAMRA West Kent Facebook

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Branch Diary March
  • 23rd social in Tunbridge Wells “High Street area" starting at 8pm at the new Framptons Cafe Bar, 2 The Pantiles. Then back up the High Street to the Compasses and finally the Grove
  • North Sussex branch pub crawl in Tunbridge Wells POSTPONED to a later date tbc
  • 18th SVR Beer Festival Planning Meeting, at SVR, West Station, Tunbridge Wells, 8pm
  • 29th Brewery Tours – Kew & By the Horns
  • Cider Month
  • 6th Brewery Tours – Downlands and Dark Star (full tour)
  • 8th Branch Business Meeting – Opera House or the Grove, Tunbridge Wells - tbc
  • 25th - 28th May – The old Fire Station, Tonbridge Cider Nouveau Festival in Association with West Kent CAMRA branch. 24 local ciders, 16 West Country ciders (includes the new season of ciders, perrys, sweet ciders, fruit ciders), Thurs eve, Fri – Sun all day. Volunteer staff may be needed
  • 8th Kent Regional Meeting comes to our branch again, at Juddians Rugby Club, Tonbridge to coincide with the SIBA SE/Juddians Beer Festival
Events, Beer Festivals, etc.
  • ON NOW 21st Mar – Fuggles Beer Café, Tunbridge Wells Time & Tide Brewery Tap Takeover with 10 beers on from noon and meet Drew from the brewery in the evening
  • 23rd – 26th Mar – Halfway House, Brenchley Mini indoor Beer Festival with the regular 8 beers plus 7 guest ales from Thurs evening
  • 20th – 23rd Apr – Orpington Liberal Club Spring Beer Festival, 18+ ales, 8 real ciders/perrys plus craft keg and craft beer in cans and bottles, hot food on Sat. Thurs 6 – 11 (preview day for club members and CAMRA members), Fri 12 - 11, Sat 12 – 11, Sun 12 – 3. Entry by ticket which includes 2 pints, £6.60 over the bar or £7 online at http://orpingtonliberalclub.co.uk/
  • 21st – 23rd Apr – The Knoxbridge, Frittenden – St. George’s Beer Festival., 16 real ales and ciders, live music, hog roast/BBQ, military vehicle display
  • 4th – 6th May – CAMRA Bexley Beer Festival
  • 25th - 28th May – The old Fire Station, Tonbridge - Cider Nouveau Festival in Association with West Kent CAMRA branch. 24 local ciders, 16 West Country ciders (includes the new season of ciders, perrys, sweet ciders, fruit ciders), Thurs eve, Fri – Sun all day
  • 26th – 29th May – CAMRA Beer Tent at Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week, The Nevill Ground, Nevill Gate, Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5ES
  • 26th - 29th May – AngelFest at Tonbridge Angels FC tbc

Kent CAMRA Website goes live

Kent CAMRA has launched it own website, this gives extra info on the Kent area and includes information on cider and brewery's. It also provides links to all the local CAMRA websites http://www.kentcamra.org.uk/

New CAMRA members site launched


Protecting your local pub by nominating them as Assets of Community Value

Through the Localism Act, the Government has introduced new powers for communities in England to nominate valued facilities such as pubs as “assets of community value”. Where pubs are listed this enables communities to “stop the clock” for up to six months if they’re put up for sale to consider options for saving the pub. With 18 pubs closing every week we need CAMRA members and branches to get involved in listing pubs before more of them are lost. So far two pubs in the branch have received this protection (both called the Royal Oak, one in Tunbridge Wells, one in Pembury). For a more in depth explanation of the what, why, and where please follow this LINK, which also contains an information leaflet.